Refer to: HSA-10/WZ-108, Amendment #1
Mr. Dave Gertz
TrafFix Devices, Incorporated
220 Calle Pintoresco
San Clemente, California 92672
Dear Mr. Gertz:
This is in response to your email message of August 7, 2003, requesting that Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) issue a revision to our acceptance of your company's Big Buster Sign Stand with 48x48 inch aluminum sign as a crashworthy traffic control device for use in work zones on the National Highway System (NHS). You requested that we find this sign stand acceptable with an Empco 4.5 pound warning light mounted at the top of the stand for use on the NHS under the provisions of National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Report 350 "Recommended Procedures for the Safety Performance Evaluation of Highway Features."
The FHWA guidance on crash testing of work zone traffic control devices is contained in two memoranda. The first, dated July 25, 1997, titled "INFORMATION: Identifying Acceptable Highway Safety Features," established four categories of work zone devices: Category I devices are those lightweight devices which are to be self-certified by the vendor, Category II devices are other lightweight devices which need individual crash testing but with reduced instrumentation, Category III devices are barriers and other fixed or heavy devices also needing crash testing with normal instrumentation, and Category IV devices are trailer mounted lighted signs, arrow panels, etc. for which crash testing requirements have not yet been established. The second guidance memorandum was issued on August 28, 1998, and is titled "INFORMATION: Crash Tested Work Zone Traffic Control Devices." This later memorandum lists devices that are acceptable under Categories I, II, and III.
The Big Buster Sign Stand with 48x48 inch aluminum sign was crash tested, and accepted by FHWA in our Acceptance Letter WZ-108 dated February 8, 2002. In our letter, under the heading "Test 2. Big Buster Sign Stand with 48x48 inch aluminum sign" we inadvertently omitted the fact that the sign was tested with the Empco warning light mounted at 142 inches above the pavement. During the test the sign stand's mast struck the windshield causing moderate damage, but no holes were made in the windshield, nor was the extent of the cracking judged to severely impair the driver's ability to see through the windshield. Therefore, the subject stand as described and illustrated in FHWA Acceptance Letter WZ-108 is acceptable for use with or without warning lights up to 4.5 pounds.
Please note the following standard provisions that apply to FHWA letters of acceptance:
Michael S. Griffith
Office of Safety